From the award-winning author of A Student of Weather, a funny, sad-eyed novel about a woman caught between real love and movie love--and real love doesn't stand a chance. This is a novel about movie love. Set in Ottawa in the 1990s, it is the quixotic tale of tall, thin Harriet Browning, inflamed by the movies she was deprived of as a child. Bent on seeing everything she has missed, she rapidly becomes so saturated with old movies, seen repeatedly and swallowed whole, that she no longer fits into this world. Equally addicted are her three companions- of-the-screen: a boy who loves Frank Sinatra, a girl with Bette Davis eyes, and an earthy sidekick named after Dinah Shore. Breaking in upon this quiet backwater, in time with the devastating ice storm of 1998, come two refugees from Hollywood, the jaded widow of a famous screenwriter and her movie-expert stepson. They are Harsh Reality. With them come blackouts, arguments, accidents, illness, and sudden death. But what chance does real life stand when we can watch movies instead? What hope does real love have when movie love, in all its brief intensity, is an easy option? In this brilliant and poignant comedy of secondhand desire, m
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Harriet wrote the name on the board with such vigor that the chalk snapped in
half and bounced off Jack Frame ' s desk . He picked it up and handed it to her ,
producing , she could feel it , a violent blush . “ Beryl Bainbridge , ” said Toad ...
On the left she made the Rideau River curve unrealistically but protectively
towards the Arboretum , and below it all , under a straight line , she wrote U . S . A
. This was his wife ' s world . A world defined by water , trees , roads , french fries
And she wrote on the blackboard : She remembers waking up in the middle of the
night to the sound of an egg smashing against her window . “ No , ” said Rod
Steiger . “ That ' s not a good first sentence . ” “ All right . Give me a better one .
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing
Elizabeth Hay introduces her novel with an epigraph from legendary film critic, Pauline Kael: “We will never know the extent of the damage that movies are doing to us.” That brilliantly sets the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ParadisePorch - LibraryThing
Not about Garbo, but vintage b&w films play a part. Hay always delivers a good story filled with human insights and poignancy Read full review